Vessel launches to the public with 135 channels of subscriber-exclusive content

The online video world will find out whether Jason Kilar's latest venture, Vessel, is ready for prime time. The SVOD service, after a few months in beta, has launched to the general public, offering monthly subscriptions for $2.99.

Vessel is starting out with 165 channels available; 135 will have content available only to paid subscribers. Its free version will offer clips that can be found on YouTube and other sites, Re/code notes.

One of Vessel's big differentiators, according to Kilar, is that much of its content is available on the site before it can be viewed anywhere else. Subscribers get "early access," a three-day exclusivity window to view content first.

To ensure this, Vessel has been busy signing established YouTube stars to create content specifically for the service, tempting them with a bigger cut of advertising revenue than they get with YouTube as well as a piece of subscriber revenue.

Despite Kilar's credentials, Vessel's success is far from guaranteed. The service is entering a crowded field of short-form and user-uploaded content providers, competing directly with Vimeo and Google-owned YouTube. Social media sites including Facebook and Twitter are increasingly stealing away users' attention with their own short video offerings. Ad-supported long-form content can be viewed for free at sites like Crackle and Popcornflix. And increasing TV Everywhere options threaten to push independent content sites like Vessel out of viewers' minds.

For more:
- Re/code has this story

Related articles:
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OTT moves: Vessel opens for business, while Popcornflix jumps onto Xbox
YouTube funds multi-million-dollar initiative to keep its stars from bolting
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